Understanding the gap in the industry where Gifting culture is still thought to be a luxury, Irfana and Reshmma, launched ‘The Gift Marche’ in 2013. Wanting to make gifting more meaningful and combining design with storytelling they together have leveraged the brand to what it is now catering their service from wedding clients, corporate companies, doctors to industrialists.
The Initial Idea
“We started Gift Marche-a curated gift – giving service in 2013 with a clear mission: to bring gifting into the millennial age!”, say the founders. Unable to find a personalized gifting option in Chennai, they decided to start their own business which could create lasting memories through personalized gifting and this led to the launch of the company!
Irfana being an endodontist and Reshma managing her own interior design company; initially didn’t plan to level up the brand rather perceived it as a hobby. “But the overwhelming response from our client led us to concentrate more and expand our business. In the beginning, we were sourcing some samples from abroad and tried to replicate them locally. We realized that we were not able to achieve the quality we wanted! For a brief period, we imported hand-selected gifting products from abroad and did the customization in terms of decoration by ourselves based on the theme of the event and the clients choice.”, the sisters explain.
They further add, “As our business continued to scale, we wanted to grow our inventory and expand our offering. This led us to work out an exclusive partnership with a factory to manufacture our gifting merchandise.”
Establishing the brand name and logo
“Gift Marche means gift market in French. Our brand has become the go-to gifting as clients can shop personalized and custom gift boxes from affordable to luxe price ranges. We not only sell gifts but also provide a huge variety of packaging options.” the founders acclaim. They also explain that the logo of the brand reflects their commitment to making personalized gifting an accessible and unique option for their clients, also establishing it as a one-stop solution for all the bespoke gifting needs!
Initial challenges faced
Having faced a lot of criticism they say,” No one believed the potential outcome in this business. People think it a luxury to add a return gift in their wedding or event checklist. It took us more than a year to establish our concept as well as our brand.”
Best supporter and motivator
Humbly they say, “Our family and our cousin gang are our great support. Especially our aunt, kurshith, who believed in our concept, ideas and stood by us no matter what! Apart from everyone else, we both are the pulling force for each other, when one gets tired the other motivates and vice versa. A good partnership is in a successful business.”
All the product which is on the online platform is straight from the factory so they can design a gift of any range. “we provide both packaging and gifting service. Right from designing an individual hamper to bulk quantity, we look forward to coordinating well with proper colour and concept.” they say as their strength.
“Our pre-packed curation tin containers, pinewood trays and baskets, is a huge hit with our customers.”, they say. On asking about the upcoming launches they tell us their plan in designing and manufacturing more eco-friendly gifts joining the sustainable bandwagon.
Diwali Special Collection
“We have exotic edible products and ceramic items to add to the home decor.”, they say joyfully looking forward to the Diwali launch.
The uniqueness of the brand
“Our lateral thinking in creating unique gifting experiences is what makes the brand unique. We’ve set the bar high for ourselves as a brand. Every product is presentable, personal and purposeful! we don’t hold back on our creativity at any cost.”, they say crediting each other.
The brand curates gifts for Individual hampers for birthday & anniversary, return gift for birthday, wedding, corporate events, hamper designing for beauty brands, innovative invitation and trousseau packing. They make sure to establish the fact that gifting is not a luxury or an add on cost, it’s only a memory to hold back from your big day.
Impact of lockdown
Though the lockdown brought in several changes they gleefully say, “We are thankful for the lockdown because people started to use gifts to connect with their loved ones when they were disconnected. We had more orders during the lockdown!”
Prioritizing and making time for the brand
Since both of them are involved in many things along with managing Gift Marache, it’s surprising to make time and level up things the way they are doing it. They agree, “It is a difficult task, still it's possible. It all depends on your understanding with your business partner. We manage the time accordingly if one is busy the other takes up the whole project and finishes it. But as we both are married, it is the mere support of our better half to give away their valuable time to fulfil our dreams. There was even sleepless night but we managed to finish our orders on time.”
A message of motivation
“Listen to your heart before you start any venture. Do what feeds your soul and do all you can to be the best version of yourself for you and those around you. Knowledge and Hard work remain as a base for any kind of business. Never give an excuse or compromise on your concept nor quality, which will be the key to success. So do what you love and only do it because you want to do it – because that will make long work hours. Do it with a partner or associate –someone who shares your vision. Partnership tends to be more robust than a single entrepreneur.”, they say beautifully.
Love, Team She